In his ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarter-final match-up on 17 May, the Thai superstar will face Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer – a man who has defeated the best of the best over the past 20 years and won almost all there is to win in martial arts.
Nothing will come easy for Nattawut in this tournament of World Champions, but that is just the way he likes it, and he is brimming with confidence.
On 17 May, how will Smokin' Jo Nattawut defeat kickboxing legend Andy Souwer?Singapore | 17 May | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, April 25, 2019
“Everything is great. Training is lit. I’m training really hard, I’m healthy. I cannot wait. Everybody is watching, and I’m super excited,” he says.
“I feel like I get better every fight. I work on something in training camp, I’ll work on it, and then I always make it happen in the ring.”
Many fans may not realize that the 29-year-old has shared the training mats with his upcoming opponent in the past.
That experience, as well as his regard for his incredible record, means Nattawut has no end of respect for Souwer, but he also believes the two-time K-1 World Max Champion is past his best.
Although he is quick to emphasize that the Dutchman is still a dangerous opponent – and a legend – he hopes he can show how much more capable he is as the younger athlete at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 17 May.
“I worked with Andy Souwer before. We have hung out and stayed in the same house. Andy is a nice person, and as a fighter, he’s a legend. We all know it,” Nattawut says.
“He’s the past already. It’s almost time to retire. I have more energy. I can take more. I think he’s slowing a little bit, and when he gets hit, I don’t think he can take the damage like before.”
Smokin' strikes from Smokin' Jo Nattawut! ????Singapore | 17 May | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, April 18, 2019
The World Grand Prix will see “Smokin” Jo compete under kickboxing rules again as opposed to his favored Muay Thai regulations, and face a man who is known for his fast pace and high output.
However, he showed how well he can adapt to kickboxing conditions in his last match – a decision win against Samy “AK47” Sana – and the two-division Lion Fight World Champion has no doubts about his ability to absorb damage and fire back with greater intensity than the man who is seven years his senior.
“I think I still have better power and I can take more. I get hit, and I’m still standing. I can take it. I think if he gets hit hard, he’s going to show it,” Nattawut says.
“My plan is to walk forward because he’s a guy who likes to put pressure on his opponents. I want to make him walk backward.
“When he walks backward, it will be different for him. I want to hit a lot. I want to make sure I hit hard with every strike. I want to land hard. I want to slow him down, and getting a knockout would be good.”
Eight of the world's greatest strikers collide in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix on 17 May! ???????? Petrosyan vs. ???????? Petchmorakot ???????? Yodsanklai vs. ???????? Sana???????? Souwer vs. ???????? Smokin' Jo ???????? Kehl vs. ???????? AskerovSingapore | 17 May | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, April 24, 2019
If all goes to plan and he progresses to the semi-finals later this year, Nattawut expects the bracket will bring a rematch against Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, who he picks to get past Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy in their contest on the main card in Singapore.
Nattawut believes the tournament bracket was set up to bring Petrosyan and Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex – who is on the other side of the tournament draw – together in the final, but he intends to deny fans and those two icons their dream match.
“We all know they want Petrosyan and Yodsanklai to meet in the finals with the way they drew it, but anything can happen. I want to break [those plans],” he says.